The slogan “taking the problem to the people” nicely summarizes U.S. traffic safety campaigns of the 1950s. It refers to the goal of awareness and self-discipline for drivers through education and law enforcement. A detailed analysis of the campaigns, however, shows a subtler objective of the motor interests that promoted it. They wanted to overcome political indifference through a civic mobilization of drivers as citizens, persuading drivers to lobby for traffic control. The analysis of their efforts leads us to question the role—or lack of role—of politicians in scientific and technological controversies.